This is an organism that grows in both fresh and salt water. It is a type of cyanobacteria which is a family of single-celled microbes that are often referred to as a blue-green algae. Like plants, cyanobacteria can produce energy from sunlight via photosynthesis. Spirulina was a must in the diets of the ancient Aztecs. It’s now a popular supplement for many health issues.
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory - Oxidative damage can harm your DNA and cells. This damage can drive inflammation which can lead to cancer and other diseases. Regular consumption of spirulina deters this oxidation. Its main compound is called phycocyanin which gives its unique blue-green colour.
Lowers, “BAD,” cholesterol and triglyceride levels - A study with 25 people with diabetes, 2 grams of spirulina daily greatly improved this condition.
Protects, “BAD,” LDL Cholesterol from Oxidation - Fatty structures in your body are susceptible to oxidative damage. The antioxidants in Spirulina have shown to be very powerful. In a study of 37 people with type 2 diabetes, 8 grams of spirulina daily significantly reduced markers of oxidative damage.
Has anti-cancer properties - Research in animals has shown that it can reduce cancer occurrence and tumour size. Its effect on oral cancer - cancer of the mouth has been very well studied.
May reduce blood pressure - This is a main driver of many diseases including kidney disease, stroke and heart attacks. A dose of 4.5 grams daily has been shown to reduce blood pressure in those with normal levels. This reduction is thought be driven by increase in the nitric oxide, a signalling molecule that helps your blood vessels relax and dilate.
Effective against Anemia - The most common one is a reduction in haemoglobin or red blood cells in the blood. More research, however, is needed on this.